There are so many foods out there marketed as 'healthy' but did you know that sometimes they are anything BUT? If you choose to eat these foods as a regular snack be aware you may be slowing your weightloss progress right down. Don't be fooled by the gimmicky titles or what you assume must be healthy, always check the labels before consuming.
You are trying to eat healthy by reaching for a salad, so it's totally okay to add some of your favourite dressing right? This is where most people make their mistakes because the tastiest salad dressing is usually filled with sugar, vegetable oils and fats. Not to mention the artificial chemicals. The best rule for salad dressing is to make your own, the simplest is lemon juice and oil or balsamic vinegar and oil. If you want something different try shake some freshly squeezed orange juice, white wine vinegar and olive oil in a jar - it tastes amazing!
Nuts & Dried Fruit Mix
You have to be careful when buying a fruit and nut mix, because although some are great sources of protein, fibre and healthy fats, most are full of sugar and salt. Dried fruit is the worst culprit as it is loaded with sugar and nuts are usually covered in salt. The best bet is to buy a mix that has all natural dried fruit and nuts, without the chocolate and sweet add ins.
Nut butters are amazing for you, unless they have more than two ingredients. If you buy your butters from large supermarkets be aware of added sugars, artificial flavours and salt. Ideally the only ingredients should be the nuts, and maybe some salt if you prefer that.
Have you ever wandered down the ice cream isle and decided to be "good" and pick up the frozen yoghurt instead of the double chocolate chip ice cream? Comparing the two with saturated fat, the yoghurt will generally win. However if you look at the calories and sugars frozen yoghurt has it can be scarily similar to the ice cream. Once you start adding your favourite toppings to your "healthy" frozen yogurt then it really blows up the calories. Many of the benefits of yoghurt come with the live cultures within it, and lots of frozen yoghurt is made using heat-processing which kills off those cultures. Try to find one that still has the cultures in it.
I'm sure we all know the type, there are so many drinks out there labelled as being filled with fibre, vitamins and even pro-biotics. Do they really help you lose weight and are they even that good for you? Chances are if it has more than two ingredients you are just consuming empty calories and are usually filled with artificial sweeteners if they are labelled 'sugar-free'. Stick to H20 instead! If you don't like plain water infuse it yourself with some fresh fruit.
There has been a lot of positive hype about bran because it is so good for your heart health and digestion, so naturally bran muffins should be amazing for you right? Wrong! Many times it's not the bran that is the issue, but all the other ingredients in the muffin; mainly sugar and fat. If you looked closely at the ingredients and calories in a bran muffin you will realise it's not that different from eating a double chocolate one depending on the size of it. If you usually eat these muffins as a quick breakfast a great alternative is to bake your own.
Pre Made Smoothies
If you aren't making your own smoothies you could risk sipping on something that is loaded with sugar. Even though they may be primarily fruit or vegetable based, many pre packaged smoothies will have added sugar and nasty ingredients to give them a better flavour. Some smoothies can even be over 600 calories per serving and you tend to drink more because you think that it is good for you. My tip is to make your smoothies at home and use natural sweeteners such as fruit. Don't forget to throw in a handful of greens such as spinach, you won't taste it but the nutritional value is awesome!
We know oats are good for us but eating the flavoured instant oatmeal isn't the same as eating a bowl of whole rolled or steel cut oats. Unfortunately the flavoured ones are filled with sugar and sodium, not to mention artificial flavours. Added sugar is a no-no, especially at breakfast time when your body is craving vital fuel to keep you going for the rest of the day. If you want to "sweeten" your oatmeal add greek yoghurt and cut up fruits to steel cut or whole rolled oats. I love making overnight oats they are super easy and delicious.